He adopted an entirely different tone to his speeches during the time
when the Soviets were undertaking the Polish invasion, the occupation
of the Baltic States and the invasion of Finland. He spoke as the leader
of a peace-loving country:
" We have not, and cannot have, any war aims such as the seizure of
foreign territories and the subjugation of foreign peoples—whether it be
peoples and territories of Europe or peoples and territories of Asia, including
Iran, Our first aim is to liberate our territories and our peoples from the
German Fascist yoke.
" We have not, and cannot have, any war aims such as that of imposing
our will and our regime upon the Slavonic or other enslave 1 nations of
Europe, who are expecting our help. Our aim is to help these nations in
their struggle for liberation which they are waging against Hit er*s tyranny
and then leave it to them quite freely to organise their life on their lands as
they think fit."
" The Germans/* Stalin again emphasised, in his Order of the Day to
the Red Army on November 7, " are waging a war of annexation, an
unjust war for the seizure of foreign territory and the conquest of other
peoples." While the Soviets, on the contrary, are conducting a "national"
war, not a " predatory imperialist, but a patriotic one." " The task of
the Red Army," wrote Stalin," is to liberate our Soviet territory from the
German invaders, to liberate the people of our villages and towns from
the yoke of the enemy."
In his next Order of the Day on May I, 1942, to the Red Army5 Stalin,
as C.-in-C.j once more underlined the character which his Army was to
play in this new war :—"Comrades, we are fighting for our country!
For justice and freedom ! We have no desire to seize foreign territories
or conquer foreign people."
Thus it was plainly and clearly stated and the ruling classes of the
Capitalist Powers, with whom fate had compelled the Soviets to unite,
or, more accurately speaking, to fight the same enemy, had to be contented*
with this. The Soviets realised that the anxiety and fear of Communism
must be dispelled, and pro-Russian sentiments in Britain and elsewhere
be induced to blossom forthwith. The Communist Soviets were dead!
A nationalist Russia had been re-born ! The Kremlin was renouncing
its world-reaching plans of conquest, soon it was even to issue orders
to dissolve the Comintern. The eyes of the world must be focussed
on the battle-ground, on the 'fighting, bleeding Russian people,
desperately defending their country in the hour of their greatest trial,
when the foundation of their Empire was trembling beneath the blows of
the German warriors.' The Kremlin's overlord, the "God-chosen
leader " as the Moscow patriarch now called him, appealed to the patrio-
tism of the Great Russians. In his Order of the Day to the Red Army on
November 7, Stalin inserted the astonishing invocation: " Let us be
inspired in this war by the valiant images of our great ancestors, Alexander
Nevski5 Dimitri Donskoy, Kuzma Minin, Pojarski, Alexander Suvorov
and Mikhail Kutuzov . . . and Lenin."